If the cord on one side could snap, so too could the one on the other. And now it was taking twice the weight. Where is Grant? What is happening up there?
These thoughts flooded Lucas’ mind as he clung to the railing. “Think clearly, think clearly”, he offered under his breath. Then he remembered the safety cable and the harness he had fitted onto himself before stepping into the box. He had been doing that for seventeen years and so now it was all too automatic. He knew he was connected to the box. Still though, he clung on with his one ungloved hand, shaking, grasping for life, flesh onto metal.
If the cable doesn’t go, he could be here for hours. No problem, right? Cold, sure. But he wouldn’t plummet to his end. The harness would assure that. Grant would wake up or someone would check in and find out what was happening. Surely, someone would see the bucket dangling on the side of the apartment tower. Surely, someone would notice the tools and pails that must have crashed onto the ground below. Surely, someone would be coming. Surely…
But the damn cold. He felt the wind cutting his face, the frost of his breath created a mist in front of him and onto the glass window.
Just two weeks short of turning 35, Lucas wondered if this was it. Thirty-five short years. His old man was nearly twice that age and living in Fort Lauderdale, probably getting ready to head out to shoot 18 as his only son now dangled by the side of a glass and chrome structure. Lucas imagined a glass and chrome tombstone, a grave marker leaving the only legacy of thirty-five unremarkable and largely wasted years.
He remembered applying for the window washer job. It was going to be for just as long as he needed to get a jump start. His father had told him to go to college or join the army, neither of which tempted him much. No, he was going to live a life of adventure, travel, find his way out there in the big world. “I’m living an adventure now”, he said aloud as he clung to living, hand bonding to frozen metal. This might have been funny in any other circumstance, but there was no one there to enjoy it now.
The adventure he sought was never meant to be lived alone. He always saw someone special sharing in it. I’ll bring my kids along with us. They will…
… just then he looked up and through the misted window. Staring back at him was a young girl, mouth ajar… holding a coloring book in one hand and crayon in the other. This was something she hadn’t quite encountered before.